Fannie Guptill was born in Maine in 1846 and she became a teacher, working her way up to school administrator before she married Joshua Hoblitt. The young couple moved to Clovis after their marriage in 1902. Soon after they built the hotel, which also was their home, on the northwest corner of Pollasky Avenue and Fourth Street. A biographer of the era said Fannie Hoblitt “has been a tireless worker in the social, moral and educational life” of Clovis. They even have a street named after them as a pioneering family of the area.
The high-class Hoblitt Hotel was popular with travelers since it was built with indoor plumbing on every floor. In 1916, the hotel hosted an annual reunion of Civil War veterans from the San Joaquin Valley. The Hoblitt family sold the hotel in the 1920s and the new owners renamed it Hotel Lillie Francis for their daughters. Sadly, in 1927 the third story of the hotel was destroyed by a fire started by a frying pan left on a stove.
A crowd gathered to watch the third floor of the Hoblitt Hotel building in Clovis burn in 1927.
There wasn’t enough water pressure for firefighters to save the top floor, said Peg Bos, curator of Clovis-Big Dry Creek Museum. The building was repaired, but only to two stories of it. Its days as a grand hotel were over.
In the years since, it housed the Sierra Vista Hospital and doctors’ offices. Later it was later named the Clovis Hotel, with retail space on the first floor. Eventually the Hotel became a sort of boarding house and finally a charming restaurant with extensive renovations being completed in 2006.
Today, the ground floor houses the Victoria Rose Restaurant, which serves lunch with traditional English teas while upstairs are the offices of the Clovis Community Development Agency.
Join us on the next walking adventure of Old Town as we stop by the old Hoblitt….we step out this SAT 10a Tickets are needed in advance via http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/197632